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Calls for Prime Minister to take climate change seriously from MP ignored

A Southwark MP has received no response from the Prime Minister after sending a hundred-strong petition urging him to take climate change seriously at COP26.

MP for Dulwich and West Norwood Helen Hayes is worried that the government is “squandering” its opportunity to achieve the “strongest possible agreement” with other nations in the global climate conference ongoing in Glasgow.

The petition, signed by constituents in Dulwich and West Norwood, includes demands for agreement to honour previous commitments to provide less-wealthy countries with £100 billion a year to support a just transition to carbon neutrality, a commitment to fund low cost and sustainable public transport across the UK, and a programme to retrofit housing and buildings across the country.

“The issue couldn’t be more urgent,” Hayes told the News. “We absolutely need the strongest possible agreement coming out of Glasgow on climate action.

“First we were encouraging people to write letters to Boris Johnson calling on him to get the strongest possible deal. We hoped to get a response from the letters to the prime minister – but we’ll wait and see whether that happens.

“Then we gained several hundred signatures on our petition.

“The most important point was to make sure that in the run up to COP 26, the voices of Dulwich and West Norwood who really care about climate change and climate action are heard and represented in that debate.

“We know that makes a difference, we know that this week after so many thousands showed up in Glasgow to make their voices heard, that it does have an impact on governments’ decisions. I fear though that this government went into COP26 in a somewhat underprepared state.

https://dev.southwarknews.co.uk/news/empty-homes-housing-councillor/

“I don’t think they’ve been doing the diplomacy and the leadership on the global stage that we would have hoped for from the host nation. We have to wait and see what comes this week.

Asked whether she was hopeful Johnson would deliver, she said: “At this point I have no idea. We have to hope for the best.”

MP Hayes helped to set up the Dulwich and West Norwood climate coalition when she was elected in 2015, to allow her to work directly with her constituents who are concerned about climate change.

Natalie Black, vice-chair of the climate coalition, said: “We are disappointed by the lack of support and investment from the Government. We hope the Prime Minister listens to our demands”.

A COP26 spokesperson said: “We have seen genuine progress in the first week of COP26, with a number of commitments which are key to accelerating global climate action and keeping 1.5 alive. Productive negotiations are underway this week to push hard and make further progress for a positive outcome for the planet.”

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